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October 02, 2010

Momentum and Gallup's Unreliable Generic Ballot

Not to beat a dead horse, but Jay Cost has more on Gallup's phony generic ballot polling that has been used by some candidates and many libtard bloggers to claim Democratic momentum as we enter the home stretch. Gallup just released another poll suggesting that the generic ballot is tied again.

This is the biggest reason why registered voter polls are so problematic this cycle: Republicans are much more enthusiastic to vote than Democrats, and in relatively non-stimulating midterm elections such as this, enthusiasm counts for a lot. More Gallup:
Given the usual Democratic advantages in party identification among the general public, it is rare for Republicans to lead on the generic ballot among registered voters. This was the case even when Republicans were the majority congressional party from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. Turnout is crucial in midterm elections. With at least 80% of Americans registered to vote but only about half that number likely to vote in the midterm elections, registered voter and actual voter preferences can differ significantly.

All things considered, Iím not entirely sure why Gallup would even put this number of registered voters out there. Clearly, it thinks the GOP has a lead in voter preferences for the House. Why publish a poll that shows a dead heat? On top of that, in the previous six cycles (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008), Gallup had already released its likely voter generic ballot by this point in the cycle. Its first likely voter model of this cycle is not due out until early October. Thatís pretty peculiar.

I do not know what explains this delay, but regardless: be wary of registered voter polls from this point forward.

Plenty more at that link, click over and read the whole thing.

My recent nattering about momentum, Gallup's unreliable generic ballot, and framing poll results are here and here.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:48 PM

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